By Dr Harold Gunatillake – Health Writer
When we think of metabolism, we think of masticatedfood entering the big bag -the stomach, where it is well churned into a fruit salad with peptic and acid juice, driven into the small gut for further digestion and absorption. The absorbed nutrients are then converted into fuel required for the activities in every cell in the body. This energy production in the body mechanism is referred to as ‘metabolism’.
The gut not only is a conduit for passage of food and digestion, but it also participates in preventing the toxic and foreign substances from being absorbed through its efficient immune system. Healthy life and existence primarily depends on this mechanism.
The body organ, gut gets accustomed to a certain pattern of home cooked food. Enzymes too get familiar for better action on routine healthy diets. Changing your food pattern even once in a while, like eating in a restaurant or on holidays, may cause you discomfort such as stomach distension, gaseous feeling, nausea, or loose motions.
When these out of the routine patterns become more frequent, one could get conditions like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease to varying degrees. Eating inflammatory foods cause these disorders. The above disorders are referred to as inflammatory bowel diseases, (IBD).
Over a lifetime tonnes of food would have gone through your gut, processed in the small gut, and the gut seems to be one of the hardest working organs in the body working nonstop.